Skip to main content Skip to main content

How It Works: Anchored by Satellite to Maintain Boat Position

Boat control with GPS anchoring system requires only the push of a button.

How It Works: Anchored by Satellite to Maintain Boat Position

In the modern, digital age of angling, we now enjoy access to satellite-based boat positioning from systems.

Exceptional boat control is one of the primary factors that separates good days on the water from great ones. Locking the boat onto a single fixed position allows anglers to saturate the strike zone with baits, helping to convert more lookers into biters.

In olden days, boats were equipped with physical anchors to help pin the boat in place against the forces of nature, and thankfully, those times are behind us. In the modern, digital age of angling, we now enjoy access to satellite-based boat positioning from systems that are collectively referred to as GPS anchors.

A fully refined GPS anchor, like the Minn Kota Spot-Lock feature incorporated into current i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link systems, elevates boat positioning to the electronic age.

Spot-Lock works by comparing a satellite-based position input by the angler—generally by pressing a key on a hand-held remote, trolling-motor foot pedal or a networked fishfinder—to the boat’s actual location, measured by receiving signals from the overhead constellation of GPS satellites.


The system springs to life when the angler’s desired location and the boat’s current position do not match.


First, a sophisticated algorithm quickly determines the separation—both distance and direction—between the two positions, and then the "anchoring" system takes control of the trolling motor's steering and prop functions to pull the boat into the appropriate location.

GAF
Minn Kota’s i-Pilot Link remote allows anglers to activate the Spot-Lock GPS anchor from anywhere on the boat.

This process repeats over and over again, with no additional input from the angler, to effectively lock the boat in place. Heavy anchor-and-chain combinations can’t hold a candle to the GPS system’s simplicity and precision.

GPS anchors represent the pinnacle of boat positioning under an incredibly diverse array of conditions. They tend to work best when the boat’s position is being influenced by a reasonably consistent force, like wind, waves or current.

Note, however, that because GPS anchoring systems are integrated into the boat’s bow-mounted trolling motor, their performance may be limited in very shallow water or heavy vegetation. Shallow-water, spike-type anchors can be more useful in those environments.




Nevertheless, for most anglers and fishing situations, a GPS anchoring system keeps a boat precisely positioned with nothing more than the push of a button.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Crash Course: Make & Hunt Mock Scrapes During Deer Rut

Crash Course: Make & Hunt Mock Scrapes During Deer Rut

Placement is the key in a mock scrape for deer hunting during the rut. Crash Course host Mark Kayser shares his insight.

Beyond the Bait: Are Bladed Jigs Good Baits for Catching Smallmouth?

Beyond the Bait: Are Bladed Jigs Good Baits for Catching Smallmouth?

Bladed jigs are one of the hottest trends in bass fishing right now, but what makes them so effective? In this episode of Beyond the Bait, we'll answer that question especially as it relates to smallmouths and go over some tactics that will result in more hookups.

Crash Course: 3 Deer-Calling Strategies for Rutting Whitetails

Crash Course: 3 Deer-Calling Strategies for Rutting Whitetails

Know when to use grunts, bleats and snort wheezes to score during the deer rut. Crash Course host Mark Kayser shows you how.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now